The widely known term to describe women’s sexual hormones estrone, estradiol and estriol is estrogen, which has a tremendous role in defending and nourishing the body, also in influencing the cholesterol levels and osteal, cardiac, dermal, and neural health for the best. Estrogen also helps in manufacturing and secreting the other important hormones in the body.
It is important for a woman to maintain stable and constant estrogen levels through her entire life, but especially through menopause. A decrease or increase in estrogen levels may lead to very unpleasant menopause symptoms and even cause serious health problems. A woman can tell if she is going through an estrogen deficiency when hot flashes, irregular menstruation and vaginal dryness appear.
What is estrogen deficiency?
Estrogen deficiency means that a woman lacks estrogen in her body, and she is going through some serious adverse effects of this problem. During menopause, the normal hormonal fluctuation causes the levels of estrogen to become insufficient. However, there are other causes of estrogen deficiency, such as: chemo and radiation therapy, hysterectomy, not enough body fat and eating disorders, thyroid problems, too much physical exercise and pituitary illnesses.
What are the symptoms of estrogen deficiency?
Usually, estrogen deficiency appears in menopause since it’s often considered a direct result of it. Women can go through many symptoms including night sweats, unexplained fatigue, irregular menstrual periods, dizziness, rapid pulse rates, vaginal dryness, loss of memory, dry skin, loss of libido, headaches, weight gain, joint pain and joint inflammation, depression and mood swings. These menopausal syndromes are both physical and psychological and are usually experienced in the climacteric period due to estrogen deficiency. However, because these symptoms often come before menopause, they can also be a result of relative estrogen deficiency as well as fluctuating levels of ovarian hormones.
Which are the tests that diagnose estrogen deficiency?
The most common way in determining if a woman suffers from estrogen deficiency is the simple estrogen test. There are medical experts or doctors who test a particular form of estrogen, especially estradiol, but estrone and estriol can also be tested and measured. These tests for estrone and estriol are the least common when diagnosing estrogen deficiency in menopausal women.
Other less reliable tests are the saliva tests. These could also be carried to asses the occurrence of estrogen deficiency, but are less reliable due to the environmental factors (what the patient has been eating or drinking, the medication she has been using etc.) that could affect the results.
It is suggested that samples to be taken in the third day of menstrual cycle, when the estrogen levels don’t vary so much.
Are there any treatments for estrogen deficiency?
The good news here is that estrogen deficiency is not going to last forever. Following doctor’s advice, a woman has many options to cure this disturbing health problem: changes in diet and lifestyle, alternative medicine (there are phytoestrogenic and non-estrogenic herbs that help the body regulate estrogen secretion) or HRT (hormone replacement therapy).
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